Yes! The Six Week Nutritarian challenge is now in the books! I’ve been covering it week to week, but what did it look like all put together? I obviously didn’t ace each week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t highlights or lessons.
Good: A large part of the impetus to getting on this kick was hitting my near max weight and body fat percentage. I needed something to get my butt in gear once and for all and the challenge was it. Body did that work! I started this whole thing with a weight just under 201 pounds and 22% body fat. Six weeks later I’m now at just under 185 pounds and 18% body fat. I feel best between 12 and 18% body fat, so this is spot on! Similarly, I lost 2 inches around my torso, waist, and hip measurements. Practically speaking that means I’ve gone from having just one pair of jeans and a few shirts I legitimately fit in to my clothes fitting or being loose again.
Bad: I couldn’t ask for better progress on the body composition but when I look back to where I was just two years ago it’s incredible how much further I still need to go. When I look in the mirror I see so much progress, and it is legitimate progress. But I saw myself as at the same build I was when I was really in shape a few years ago. I’m just not there yet.
Good: The last six weeks have been a nutrition explosion. With no cheat days and eating a very nutrient dense vegan diet my numbers were through the roof. Calcium was the only thing I came up a little short on, at 75% RDA. The rest were all well in excess of 100%, and that was even without supplementation. The two exceptions to the supplementation comment are Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin D. Although there was a ton of B-12 in the nutritional yeast I used I wasn’t eating enough of that to make up the difference. No one gets enough Vitamin D from food, and sun shy people like me need to boost it through supplementation, which I did.
Bad: There is no bad here. I just nailed it.
Good: The proof is in the pudding, and although I had to kick my formerly beloved Coke Zero, shun caffeine of all sorts, and eat a very strict diet it really did work. By the calorie balance math I should weigh about 192 pounds right now. I weigh 185. This is the first time in two years that the divergence in that formula (after accounting for any measurement or estimation errors) is negative. Could it be not absorbing as much of the carbs as I’m actually consuming? Perhaps. Could it be that I am finally knocking down inflammation or whatever else was building up over the last couple of years? Perhaps. Time will tell which way that goes
Bad: I loved the food I was eating, that would be a plus if it ended there. However having zero margin for social events became infuriating. Not irritating, infuriating. Now that I have the 10% rule to play with maybe it won’t be as bad, but I still think I need, and am planning for in future phases, free days to help make up the slack. Is it as ideal as sticking to it 100%? Probably not. So maybe I’ll live one year shorter. BFD.
Good: I may not have hit my numbers most weeks, but I got far more exercise than I would have otherwise. When I was just over everything and wanted to skip out on getting my steps in, or getting that yoga, or doing those pushups and pullups, I’d think about how dinged up my report card for the week would look and I redoubled my efforts. Sometimes that didn’t work, but I guarantee that if I didn’t have that stick I would have done none of it over those six weeks.
Bad: I just didn’t hit the numbers I was hoping for quite yet. That’s why even such paltry numbers looked like a challenge. For me they were, and still are. You can’t change all your lifestyle cycles on a dime
Good: I’ve always been pretty good about sleep, but it was nice to track how much I was actually getting against a specific goal. I really didn’t have much choice since avoiding the morning caffeine ritual made skipping out on sleep too many days in a row infeasible.
Bad: I knew I was going to have to wake up with alarm clocks, and I certainly did. That plus work meant I sometimes missed an hour or so of sleep on some nights. It’s not the end of the world, but again it’s something to stay on top of.
So, my Six Week Nutritarian Diet Challenge wasn’t an all aces success in terms of nailing every metric, but it did give me improvements in many areas and renewed focuses on all of them. My overall score for the entire effort was a B-. It’s not horrible but not great either. It was still worth every amount of effort and this concept of brief six week challenges is something I’m not going to incorporate into my regular routine now.